'Crossbow bolt' stops county cricket match

'Crossbow bolt' stops county cricket match

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Arrow at the Oval

Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Kia Oval (day four):
Middlesex 247 & 214-7: Simpson 88*
Surrey 280: Roy 79, Foakes 73; Roland-Jones 4-66
Match abandoned. Surrey 10 pts, Middlesex 9 pts

Surrey’s County Championship game with Middlesex at The Oval was abandoned as a draw after a crossbow bolt landed on the pitch.

Spectators were asked to take cover after the arrow was fired from outside the ground, but no-one was injured.

Police carried out a “controlled evacuation” of the ground after the incident was reported at 16:35 BST.

A Met Police statement said there have been no arrests, and they are keeping “an open mind as to motive”.

Middlesex were leading by 181 runs with three wickets in hand when the players were taken off the pitch.

Police at The Oval

BBC Test Match Special commentator Dan Norcross said the crossbow bolt landed between two players, around 10 metres from the strip.

“To aim at a particular player is very, very hard to do, it’s about 150m to the nearest vantage point,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“It’s a very difficult target for somebody who is trying to do specific damage and it feels more like an act of mischief. But it could have done serious damage – I’ve seen the tip and it’s very sharp and it was poking into the ground.

“I can’t stress enough what a dangerous weapon this arrow was – 18 inches long with a long metal tip. It could so easily have hurt someone and it landed eight yards from about five players.”

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Spectator Jeremy Lawrence said he was “shocked it happened at a county cricket match”.

“All of a sudden the players came running off the pitch closely followed by the umpires. I thought it must be raining but it wasn’t raining,” he told BBC Sport.

“Someone asked Rikki Clarke, the Surrey cricketer, what was happening. He said an arrow had fallen into the ground. I saw the umpire holding it and took a picture. It looked like a particularly nasty crossbow arrow.

“The ground staff told everyone to remain under cover – they did an excellent job. I’ve now left the ground and there were at least a dozen armed police outside.”

More to follow.

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